Rodney Yee is a famous American yoga instructor who has taught thousands of people how to achieve a healthier lifestyle with his expertise. He rose to popularity in the mid ’90s when his picture was featured on the cover of Yoga Journal. Rodney became a household name as an instructor when he starred in a series of Living Arts/Gaiam yoga DVDs and videos.
He has written two books about yoga and even narrated various meditation audio clips for his students. Together with his wife, Colleen Saidman, Rodney has made several contributions to yoga and has promoted it across the globe.
Rodney Yee’s Background
Rodney Yee is a military child as his father was an Air Force Colonel, and Rodney spent most of his childhood in Puerto Rico and Altus, Oklahoma. He is Chinese-American by descent and was born in 1957.
During his high school years, Rodney was a gymnast and later went on to become a ballet dancer. HE performed with the Oakland Ballet Company first and then the Matsuyama Ballet Company of Tokyo, Japan. Later, he began studying physical therapy and philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley but dropped out to pursue a career in ballet.
At the Iyengar School, Rodney learned about yoga and began to enjoy it immensely. He became a yoga enthusiast and began teaching yoga at a studio called The Yoga Room in Berkeley. Later in 1987, Rodney co-founded a yoga studio in Oakland called the Piedmont Yoga Studio.
In 2002, Rodney was accused of being involved in affairs with multiple students and was sued for breach of contract. He and his wife divorced in the same year, and he married Colleen Saidman, a former model and his student, in 2006.
Since relationships with students violate the precepts of yoga teacher conduct, there was dissonance in the community Rodney taught. Nevertheless, Colleen and Rodney both enjoy teaching yoga separately to students and together at the Gaiam Yoga Club.
Now, Rodney instructs students around the world at workshops, conferences, and retreats. He has also published two books and multiple home DVDs that people can follow in the comfort of their homes.
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Rodney Yee’s Yoga
Rodney’s journey into teaching yoga started at Iyengar School. He began teaching yoga at The Yoga Room, but the type of exercises he taught was unique since he incorporated his own style into them. The style of yoga he taught is called Iyengar Yoga. His special style allowed hundreds of students to benefit from his teaching and pushed him to start his own yoga studio as a teacher.
The Gaiam Yoga Club, which Rodney co-founded with his wife, Colleen Saidman, is an online yoga club where students learn yoga virtually from the instructors. He teaches his students about his philosophy of yoga and how yoga has a unique healing power for the body and mind. According to his philosophy, yoga can cleanse the mind and body, allowing people to enter an elevated state of mindfulness and well-being.
Aside from that, Rodney Yee has also been a part of Urban Zen Health and Wellness Initiative and is the organization’s co-chair. This organization focuses on ‘grief yoga’, which is structured to help people who have lost a close friend or family member.
This forum was developed by Rodney Yee, Colleen Saidman Yee, and their friend Karen, who had been widowed at the time. They also have a program that focuses on the humanness of healthcare providers. This is a more patient-centered course and can help participants feel much better with a holistic approach.
Rodney Yee can also be credited with setting up Urban Zen Integrative Therapy (UZIT). This healing guideline focuses on delivering proper care to patients and providers and incorporates different healing aspects such as Reiki, yoga, mindfulness exercises, essential-oil therapy, and end-of-life care.
All participants loved the UZIT program, and it was expanded all across the USA to provide benefits to more people. You will be able to find hospitals and rehab centers in the USA offering UZIT to help patients. Local yoga instructors also offer UZIT to people so that they can manage their physical and mental health better. UZIT is also quite popular in South Africa.
Rodney Yee’s Books
Rodney Yee has written two books highlighting his yoga philosophy and his achievements and work in the field. They are called ‘Moving Towards Balance: 8 Weeks of Yoga with Rodney Yee’ and ‘Yoga: The Poetry of the Body’.
Yoga: Poetry of the Body
In this book, Rodney Yee talks about his philosophy of yoga as well as gives practical instruction on the most common poses of yoga. He details how to maintain proper posture as well as explains breath work and positioning for the most common yoga asanas.
He has also included pictures of each step so the reader can better understand how to go through all 8 yoga sessions in the best way possible. It is an excellent guide for beginners and advanced students and has almost 45 different poses they can try.
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Moving Towards Balance: 8 Weeks of Yoga with Rodney Yee
Rodney Yee highlights an 8-week program in this book, complete with breath awareness exercises, yoga postures, and meditation that can help readers build the physical and emotional balance everyone wants in life.
In this program, ach week you can try out a new series of poses, including backbends, inversions, twists, forward bends, and more. These exercises help to accommodate different levels of flexibility and strength.
Aside from the poses, the book also explains the importance and benefits of each pose and helps readers learn their psychological and physiological advantages. Essentially, this book is designed to emphasize home yoga practice and focus on what works best for each reader’s body, irrespective of their age and level of expertise.
Rodney Yee’s DVDs
Rodney Yee has published a variety of exercises online and teaches yoga in online live sessions with his wife, Colleen Saidman. He is also an internationally renowned yoga instructor with more than 30 best-selling videos.
Surprisingly, Rodney was one of the first yoga instructors who used videos as a medium to connect with a larger audience and grow his reach. He was featured on various TV networks and popular talk shows such as CNN, PBS, Oprah Winfrey Show, and more. Some of his most popular DVDs include:
Back Care Yoga
This DVD by Rodney Yee focuses on poses that will strengthen a person’s torso and back and ease their back pain. These poses can also improve flexibility and have been analyzed medically for their effectiveness regarding back health.
Rodney Yee: Yoga Burn
Rodney Yee helps viewers understand how slowing down and using cutting-edge yoga programs can yield quicker and better results. This can help beginners, and advanced students deepen their practice and emphasize on transitioning in and out of essential poses slowly.
This guide is designed to help you sculpt and build a more defined and muscular body. You will learn to move with mindfulness and burn fat with slow and continuous movement.
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Rodney Yee Diet
Rodney Yee and his wife have adopted a vegetarian lifestyle that helps them lead a simple and healthy lifestyle. They have been known to enjoy steamed vegetables with brown rice, while Rodney has a great preference for sandwiches.
Most yogis have a vegetarian lifestyle since it enhances their health and spiritual energy. A vegetarian diet keeps the mind and body active and digestion flowing. Vegetarian diets also help calm the mind and reduce negative thinking.
Rodney Yee – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Who did Rodney Yee marry?
Rodney Yee was married to Donna Fone until 2002 and has three children with her. In 2006, he married his student and former model, Colleen Saidman, and they both teach yoga separately as well as together at The Gaiam Yoga Club.
Where can I find Rodney Yee yoga for weight loss?
You can easily find Rodney Yee’s yoga sessions for weight loss on YouTube. You can purchase his DVD, Rodney Yee: Yoga Burn, for more detailed instructions.
Does Rodney Yee offer teacher training?
Yes. Colleen Saidman and Rodney Yee offer teacher training for yoga instructors who want to advance their skills and help them develop teaching skills.
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Rodney Yee is an internationally renowned yogi known for his unique style of yoga and dedication to people’s wellness. He was one of the first yoga instructors who began making at-home yoga popular with instructional DVDs and online content. His contribution to yoga was significant in making yoga widespread all over the US and helping yoga studios flourish in every part of the country.
Rodney has also published two instructional books that help readers understand yoga’s physiological and psychological benefits. Now, he also offers teaching lessons online with his wife Colleen Saidman, and teaches yoga at conferences, retreats, and workshops.